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Jennifer Van Wyk
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 Idea behind the workshop

Does the following strike a chord? Let’s consider the following all too common scenario –

"As with many companies, the recent recession has forced cut back on costs. "The low hanging fruit" in terms of the most obvious cost cutting initiatives have already been taken. Consulting companies have been hired to help re-structure the enterprise and optimise therefore expediting business recovery. However, despite all efforts, business change for the better is still slow. What do we do next?"

Although many in Western economies are in a state of denial, we are undergoing the greatest reorganization in the business world since the Industrial Revolution. If you somehow haven't noticed it yet, there is a loud and clear wake-up call in the air that can be heard everywhere. It's called globalization, and it's being brought to you by three billion new capitalists from China, India, and the former Soviet Union.

No matter what industry you are in, no matter how successful you are, it's time to get ready for the world as it will be --a world where your customers have new choices from a sea of suppliers from across the globe.

--Peter Fingar
Executive Partner, Greystone Group
Author of Extreme Competition: Innovation and the Great 21st Century Business Reformation

Why are there still massive opportunities to improve business performance in companies that have been through many previous rounds of restructure and traditional optimisation?

Although now starting to change, most companies have not yet appreciated that the business world is going through the greatest reorganisation since the industrial revolution, therefore not changing their approach to change, making the mistake that the approaches that served them so well in the last years will endure.

The information age which started in the second half of the 20th Century is quickly morphing into the customer age with massive implications – opportunities for those who address but significant issue for those who fail to react quickly enough. There are many case studies which illustrate where this is happening.

Our Company Structures

Most companies have a functional structure with “division of labour” fundamental that has changed little since the industrial revolution. Functional silos grow and change over time to address the demands placed on them within the company. The original consequence of ‘labour division’ was a 240 times productivity improvement. The fundamentals of company structure still exist largely unchanged today and have now become the biggest reason why companies are underperforming or failing.

98% of the workforce of most organisations have either no contact with the customer or have only a limited understanding of the customer, their drivers and what he/she really needs. Under the existing division of labour principles, why should they? They have to do a job within the company and either answer to or deliver something to somebody else within the company – the concept of “the internal customer”. Over time the demands on the functional silos change – this may be to improve quality, reduce defects or improve a service to what the internal customer states is required. Because 98% of the workforce are divorced from the customer base then the only measures of success that can be used is the requirements for improvement as defined internally.

Overlay the more, cheaper, faster, better quality demands and the focus is firmly fixed on “inside-out” thinking looking at process change in the traditional domain. Companies traditionally have tried to combat this by using “voice of the customer” and other techniques which leave only very limited insight – the problem for the 98% of us focussing on the internal customer we simply are just not aware what is missing!!

Is this a problem? Well, simply – YES. Because of the focus on what we are doing and trying to deliver or please the people we are answerable to – the internal customer then we are doing lots of things that do not contribute to what the customer – ie the person who pays for the goods and services - really needs. That’s inefficiency that none of the existing Enterprise Performance Improvement methodologies have been able to identify or drive out. The vast majority of companies are carrying out a huge amount of work that is simply not contributing to what the customer needs adding complexity, cost and ultimately service.

Change in Customer Behaviour

The customer base whether it be the corporate or the individual consumer now has access to choice at unprecedented levels. We can obtain information or advice on almost anything at the press of a button and whereas we used to be restricted to either what or where we buy, the world has become a global supermarket for pretty well every product or service available. Economic globalisation has compounded the problem as trade barriers between nations and regions are effectively dismantled. In some industries supply effectively exceeds demand with the only apparent differentiator being price. The view that customer focus should be packing in as much of what a customer wants into a product/service without killing the cost base is fortunately a complete fallacy. The companies who align their structures, processes and capability most closely to what the customer actually needs (not “wants” – discussed later) are likely to sell more than their competitors. Customers are becoming more informed about alternative options. They are more likely to change allegiance. They are more likely to rebel if they don’t get what they perceive they want/need. This applies to all industries whether we are selling insurance products or building submarines.

Pace of Change in Producing New Capability

The pace of change and accelerated technology advances means new products/services or variants are being produced increasingly quicker as most companies try to compete in this new but constantly evolving landscape. We observe this every day and its placing a huge pressure on our organisations. This increased capability/reduced price and reduced time to market is now a factor in virtually every one of our industries. We have to compete, because if we don’t then the customer base will quickly find those organisations that can and they will stop buying. Most companies address this by using traditional techniques to produce better/cheaper/faster without realising there are huge opportunities sitting “under their nose” if only they could look at their business through a different “set of glasses”.

And to the Programme?

Abstraction level for processes - source wikiThe enterprises are exploring modular architecture to isolate their business processes from their applications, which gives them the flexibility to add, upgrade or replace applications in their information technology environment without redefining all of their process interfaces.

The business process management (BPM) market at $1.0 billion in 2005 is expected to more than triple to $3.8 billion by 2012. The services oriented architecture (SOA) market at $450 million in 2005 is expected to grow rapidly through 2012, reaching $3.2 billion.

One of the most challenging issues in BPM is not the question of "If" it is the question of "How." This two-day program will focus on how to do design and implement efficient and effective business processes, to more effectively support the way our enterprises are adapting.

Learn from the lessons from decades of real experience with real (and successful) BPM initiatives for taking BPM from promise to practice. This will be great primer for beginners and will provide new insight & fresh ideas for people with experience in BPM.

Rest assured, you will never think about business in the same way again. Learn new methods which you can take back and apply immediately into your organisation.

If you are traveling, you may like to attend the program city near you

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